Major earnings progress by female tech bosses

Female technology bosses in commercial roles are ­out-earning their male ­counterparts for the first time, new research suggests.

Groups like Scotland Women in Technology promote gender equality. Picture: Contributed

A global study conducted by headhunter Odgers Berndtson found that average ­salaries for women in leading commercial positions in the sector moved ahead of those awarded to men in 2018.

The report, which coincides with today’s celebration of International Women’s Day, analysed the pay packets of almost 1,000 tech executive searches on which the recruitment company has worked over the last five years.

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During this time, women’s share of top commercial roles, such as chief executive, chief financial officer or chief marketing officer, and their earnings both doubled.

The average salaries for top female executives increased from £122,000 in 2013 – less than half of the male average for that year – to £330,000 in 2018.

This is believed to be the first time that salaries for female leaders in a division of the sector have outperformed the male equivalent, with the findings seen as reflecting a “strong demand” across tech companies to create more representative leadership teams, according to the study.

However, it also highlighted that significant challenges remain for women in many areas of technology.

Men still dominate in terms of numbers and earning power for leadership roles in the sector overall, particularly in specialist functions such as chief information officer (CIO) and chief technology officer.

But the proportion of ­women successfully placed as leaders in these capacities has increased during the last five years, from 9 per cent to 17 per cent.

Caroline Sands, head of the CIO and technology officers practice at Odgers Berndtson, said: “The gender gap in functional technology roles is not closing as quickly as we might hope.

“Although the most talented female technologists are now more likely to reach the top, in many specialist areas there won’t be gender parity until fundamental concerns of younger women over culture are addressed.”

This comes as a separate study, commissioned by CWJobs and conducted by Vanson Bourne, found that three in five IT decision-makers believe future tech innovations are likely to be damaged by the poor representation of women in IT and tech roles.

More than two in five feel that women are put off from working in the sector due to the male-dominated culture, while 36 per cent say it is due to the lack of promotions or opportunities for women.

It has previously been reported that only 17 per cent of the those working in technology roles overall are women.

At the leadership level, it was found that numbers of ­women are lower still, recently ­estimating that just 5 per cent of leading tech roles in the UK are now held by a woman, compared to around 9 per cent globally.

Odgers Berndtson’s head of the global technology practice Mike Drew added: “We are delighted with the progress made over the past five years for women in top commercial roles with global technology companies.”

He also stated: “We hope this is just the start of far greater diversity.”